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Three Lives, Three Legacies planned giving & trust ser vices Gail Mohns IT WAS THE LAST DAY OF SCHOOL IN EARLY JUNE 2015, and for 18-year-old Savannah Bettis, it was her last of high school. Graduation was just a few days away. Savannah was going places. She was a good student and had been accepted to Ivy Tech, where she planned to begin studying in the fall. Described by all who knew her as caring and courageous, honest and helpful, it was fitting that she wanted to become a special education teacher. But Savannah would never begin college classes. She would never have a career doing what she loved: helping others. In fact, she would never don a cap and gown or walk proudly across the stage, or shake the principal’s hand and receive her diploma. In the early evening on Thursday, June 4—her last day of high school—near Avon, Ind., Savannah and her boyfriend suddenly veered off the highway, and Savannah’s life was tragically lost in the car crash. 1 REWIND BY A LITTLE MORE THAN A DECADE. It was a summer evening in 2004 when a police officer interrupted dinner at the Mikel family home in Elkhart, Ind. It was a dinner the Mikels will never forget: it was the night they learned that their 16-year-old daughter had been in a serious car crash and was in critical condition and on life support at the hospital. That night the Mikels were among approximately 75 people in the waiting room. Schoolmates, friends, and family, all waited with bated breath for some news of Kelsey’s condition. Ultimately, it was discovered that Kelsey had suffered brain death, and the difficult decision to remove her from life support had to be made. Young Kelsey, clearly loved and cherished by everyone she knew, would never grow up to become a pediatrician or elementary school teacher, careers in which she had shown interest. In fact, she would not even have the opportunity to finish high school, let alone apply to college or university and pursue a career at all. 2 1 14 Feb rua r y 2 016 M “Parents Remember ‘Amazing Little Angel’ Killed in Avon Crash on Last Day of High School,”, Channel 13. June 4, 2015,, accessed Oct. 23, 2015. 2 Shaun Gallagher, “Legacy of 16-Year-Old Killed in Car Accident Living on Through Organ Donation,”, Nov. 25, 2014, /home/headlines/Legacy-of-16-year-old-killed-in-car-accident-living-on-through-organ-donation-283893111.html, accessed Oct. 23, 2015.